A survey of 95 councils found that two thirds were being affected by NHS debts. Forty per cent of the councils surveyed by the LGA said the knock-on effect of the financial pressure in the NHS was worse than ever before.
Half said beds had been closed, and a quarter said there had been a reduction in district nurse numbers. Fourteen per cent said there were increased waiting times for NHS services, while 13 per cent said community hospitals had been closed.
Sandy Bruce-Lockhart, chairman of the LGA, which represents more than 400 councils in England and Wales, said: ‘Health and social care are two sides of the same coin, and the financial crisis in health is having an impact on an already stretched council social care sector.’